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Crater is a constellation. Its name is Latin for cup, and in Greek mythology it is identified with the cup of the god Apollo. It was one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and remains one of the 88 modern constellations. It is faint, with no star brighter than third magnitude.

  • NGC 3511 is a spiral galaxy with a slight bar, seen nearly from the edge, of type SBbc. It is a member of the galaxy cluster Abell 1060. This galaxy is magnitude 12, and is 4' × 1' in size.
  • NGC 3887 is a barred-spiral galaxy of type SBc, magnitude 11, with a diameter of 3.5'.
  • NGC 3981 is a spiral galaxy with two wide spiral arms, of type SBbc. It is magnitude 12 with a diameter of 3'. This galaxy was discovered by William Herschel in 1785.
  • RX J1131 is a quasar located 6 billion light years away from Earth. The black hole in the center of the quasar was the first black hole whose spin has ever been directly measured.

Crater is identified with a story from Greek mythology in which a crow or raven serves Apollo, and is sent to fetch water, but it rests lazily on the journey, and after finally obtaining the water in a cup, takes back a water snake as an excuse. According to the myth, Apollo saw through the fraud, and angrily cast the crow, cup, and snake, into the sky. The constellations of Corvus the crow and Hydra the water-snake are also identified with this myth.[1]


File:Sidney Hall - Urania's Mirror - Noctua, Corvus, Crater, Sextans Uraniæ, Hydra, Felis, Lupus, Centaurus, Antlia Pneumatica, Argo Navis, and Pyxis Nautica.jpg

Crater, the Cup, is often considered a part of the threefold constellation; Hydra, Corvus and Crater. It relates to the myth [Ovid's Fasti, 2.243-66] that Apollo sent a Raven (Corvus) to fetch water in the god's cup (Crater). The raven got back late because he waited at a fig tree for figs to ripen before returning. He brought back a Water-snake (Hydra), along with the water-filled cup (Crater), and told Apollo that the Hydra had caused the delay. Apollo was not deceived by the lie and placed the Raven (Corvus), the cup (Crater), and the Water-snake (Hydra) among the stars, where the Water-snake guards the water from the thirsty Raven.

The word Crater comes from the Indo-European root *kere-1 'To mix, confuse, cook'. Derivatives: uproar(from Middle Low German hror, motion), rare² (cooked just a short time, from Old English hrer), idiosyncrasy,acrasia (Greek akrasia, a-, 'not' + kerannunai, 'to mix'; 'bad mixture', excess; intemperance), dyscrasia (any disease condition, especially in hematology, as in 'blood dyscrasias.' The term 'dyscrasia' was borrowed from the Greek meaning 'a bad mixture' referring to imbalance between the four humors which caused disease [1]),crater (from Greek krater, mixing vessel). [Pokorny kere- 582. Watkins]

According to Christian legend, the Holy Grail was the dish, plate, or cup used by Jesus at the Last Supper, said to possess miraculous powers . The word grail is believed to be related to Crater, grail is from Old French graal, grael, from Medieval Latin gradalis, 'cup, platter', from Vulgar Latin *cratalis, from *cratus, 'a mixing bowl', from Latin crater, from Greek krater. [Klein, Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary]. [2]

HGS Session References

HGS Sessions - Clearing Tara, Gaia, Cradle of Lyra- 3/12/2015 [3]


  1. Crater
  2. Crater
  3. HGS Session

Found in HGS Manual on Page 108 Found in HGS Manual on Page 115